"No one's ever going to nominate Joe Biden to be the chairman of MENSA -- he's not Albert Einstein," MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann told Chris Matthews on the Tuesday edition of Hardball. "But what he's always been a master of is applied intelligence," he added, remarking on the vice president's preparation for the October 11 debate with policy-wonky Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Heilemann enthused about Biden's role in 1987 in scuttling President Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork, "supposedly one of the smartest guys in all of the history of conservatism, of conservative legal theory."
"There's not many debates Joe Biden lost in his career," the New York magazine writer added of the Delaware Democrat who "goes to school" by preparing heavily, whether its to take on Sarah Palin or Robert Bork. Completely omitted by Heilemann, of course, was the revelation during the 1988 presidential campaign of Biden's having plagiarized a speech by then-British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, which, of course sank his run for the presidency.